Restaurants definitely are not conducive to weight management. Huge portions, high fat, carbs galore.
Here's some eating out tips~
If you must do fast food:
McDonald's (use the nutrition site with bag your meal or select per item to add/remove condiments)
regular hamburger + fruit and yogurt parfait (410 calories, 11 grams fat) -or-
grilled chicken sandwich - mayo (340 calories, 5 grams fat) -or-
small french fry + apple dippers w/ caramel (330 calories, 12 grams fat)
Add a side salad and low fat dressing for 80 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.
7 Fresco (Drive Through Diet) options with calories and fat on sign. Stay away from the salads, they are all high calories and fat.
Fresco Bean Burrito (340 calories, 8 grams fat)
Regular Bean Burrito (370 calories, 10 grams fat)
Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco (170 calories, 4 grams fat)
Regular Chicken Soft Taco (200 calories, 8 grams fat)
Fresco Chicken Burrito Supreme (390 calories, 12 grams fat)
Regular Chicken Burrito Supreme (340 calories, 8 grams fat)
Cheese Roll Up (200 calories, 10 grams fat)
Grilled Chicken Taquitos (320 calories, 11 grams fat)
Tostada (250 calories, 10 grams fat)
Pacific Shrimp Taco (170 calories, 7 grams fat)
Stick to one slice, blot the oil. Add a salad with low/no fat dressing. Skip the breadsticks.
Sit Down Restaurant~
Some offer weight management options with nutrition information available on the menu. Order smarter, for instance, the other night we ate out at a local sports bar. Normally, I'd order either the cheese fondue (1/2 order includes bread) + a grilled chicken breast or a grilled chicken + buttered pasta + steamed veggies. Either way, I'd munch on the deep friend mushrooms w/ ranch that Hubs orders and probably have a soda. Instead, I ordered my usual grilled chicken with salad (no croutons, dressing on the side) instead of the pasta/potato and veggies without butter. I did eat two of the small mushrooms from Hubs order. I had water to drink. I enjoyed my meal and didn't feel deprived. It was a bit difficult to see (meaning I wanted to try them!) many of the fat and calorie laden plates on the tables around us or walking by on the hands of a waitress. In contrast, my husband ordered a club sandwich with fries, a beer, and the deep fried mushroom liberally dipped in ranch dressing.
In general, order broth based soups (instead of fatty cream based) and skip the bread (killing me...).
If everyone around you is munching on bread or fried appetizers~ opt for lettuce wraps, steamed salad rolls, minestrone/egg flower soup or a garden salad w/ low fat dressing.
Pasta~ Go with red or wine sauces instead of cream based. Order a lunch portion if possible, otherwise immediately put half your meal into a to go box. Have a salad or minestrone soup, skip the bread.
Sandwiches & Burgers ~ skip the fries, have a salad or fruit instead. Opt for turkey, chicken, or buffalo burger over ground beef (much less fat), omit the cheese. Go for avocado (has fat yes, but nutrient dense!) or dijon over mayonaise. Another option- go bunless (lettuce wrapped) and add sauteed mushrooms (without butter/oil) or remove half the bun ( a regular bun can have 240+ calories). Choose whole grain breads.
Remember: Steamed over Fried. Skip, Reduce or Replace with Whole Wheat Bread and Buns. Choose ketchup and mustard over mayo. Leave out the cheese. Add a veggie (avocado, mushrooms, etc...) when possible. Drink water add lemon for flavor. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry instead of when you feel full (this takes some getting used to). Eat slower.
If eating is social for you (like me) chew gum or suck on sugar free candy when you are in situations that would normally cause you to snack when you aren't physically hungry.